To Bug Out Or To Bug In: That Is The Question

By Mac Slavo

Whether one should “bug out” or “bug in” has been a debatable topic among preppers since most began to prep. So which is it? Bug out? Or Bug in?

There’s no real right or wrong answer here. It really depends on the situation.  Of course, that’s not exactly what most want to hear when they are looking for a simple answer.  But you will need to take the emergency situation at hand into consideration before you decide.

What I mean by that, is ponder what is happening and where you’ll be the safest. For example, I live in the middle of nowhere. In the vast majority of situations I can come up with in my head of things that are likely to become SHTF scenarios, bugging in is my best bet. However, what if I’m out and about in public when something bad happens? Well, that’s why I keep a bug out bag in my vehicle, in addition to one at my house. That way I can hopefully make it back home with the supplies I have in that bag. You can even pick up simple car survival kits if you are a home body and don’t travel far often. The real question, is how do YOU make the right choice for yourself?

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Because this will be a personal judgment call, my suggestion would be to consider likely emergencies that will occur in your area BEFORE they actually happen. What if there’s an earthquake? What if the power grid goes down? What if there’s civil unrest? What if the stock market collapses? What if there’s a combination of all of these?

Consider your location too. If you live in a high-rise apartment complex smack dab in the middle of an enormous city, bugging out will be dangerous, but it’ll get worse as the emergency is ongoing especially if there’s any civil unrest. In that case, making it to a remote location could be the decision you come to.

Consider your family as well.  Can you protect an older family member who isn’t capable of bugging out? What about a child or a baby? All of this should also be taken into consideration. If you bug in in a large city, you should be willing to come to terms with the violence that will likely be necessary to protect yourself, your family, and your provisions. People revert to instinct and will act like animals when they get hungry and you need to know how to defend yourself from them.

You should also be able to get reliable information so you can make the best decisions. This is one reason why a working radio is a critical element of your survival gear. Depending upon the nature of the disaster, going online with a phone, tablet, or laptop might not be an option. A crank-powered radio, ideally one that can tune in shortwave transmissions, might be the only way you can gather information about what the heck is going on. But even then, the media is wrong as often as they are right.

The bottom line is that there are many things to consider and you will still have to assess your situation, the information you have at the time, and the general emergency at hand to know what the right choice will be.  Again, for myself personally, there are very few situations in which I can see myself grabbing the bug out bag and heading for the hills. But for some in the city, they may see very few emergency situations in which they can see themselves attempting to bug in in an apartment surrounded by hungry mobs.

Neither decision is wrong. But considering all your options in advance is the best way to make the decision. Trust your instincts, after all, you were given them for a reason!

Please share any other advice you all have with each other in the comments so we can discuss and help make these difficult decisions easier.

This article was sourced from

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